RC RF with a zipzap tutorial


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Can someone tell me how to build the rangefinder to go up and down.becuz i can get the Servo thing for free but i need to know how to buid it or put it together.
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If you want it RC you need a pc board and a controller. I personally used a zipzap micro rc car i had laying around and wired 2 AAA's to the battery wires on the circuit board and wired the servo to the motor wires on the circuit board. I then put the car controller in one of my pouches. Press forward(up) on the controller and the rf goes up, push reverse(down) and the rf goes down. It is'nt super fast going up and down but it aint slow either.
Total cost to me: FREE!!!
I had all the stuff laying around and a friend gave me a servo.
If you were to buy all but the servo which you said you already have, it will only cost you $20 for the rc car and another $1-2 for the battery case.
Beware:if you do this, wire no more than 2 aa's or aaa's the circuit board can only take a MAXIMUM of 4 volts. the 2 batterys provide a combined 3.

Or you could always buy a kit from 1 of the other board members.

Hope this helps.
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:eek: Krillinbd can you post pics or if it possible a mini tutorial with images :D
thanks in advance :)
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secol_FETT wrote:

:eek: Krillinbd can you post pics or if it possible a mini tutorial with images :D
thanks in advance :)

Hey secol, i'm back in school, so if you give me about a week, i can try to put a tutorial together complete with images. I have an extra car that i can use to demonstrate with. Although i dont have a servo, i will find something to replace it with for demonstration purposes only. Also will you be able to host a video clip of the RF in action? THat would help alot.
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Alright guys and gals, this is my little tutorial on how to set your helmet up with an rc rangefinder using a micro rc car called a zipzap available at radioshack. This is my first tutorial so if you dont understand something or i left something out, please ask a question.

Here we go.

What you need:
1 zipzap, or other mini rc car.
1 servo.
1 2AA or 1 2AAA battery holder.(This is very important. No more than this, the circuit board can take a maximum of 4 volts! 2 batteries is 3 volts. 2 aa's or 2 aaa's only no more, no less!.)
Soldering iron.
Hot glue gun.

How you get a zip:

Keep in mind that this is out of package and i already removed the steering from the car chasis.

First you want to remove the plastic PCB cover:

Dont worry about breaking it as you dont need it. Also dont worry about the hair thin copper wires, they are for steering the car and are not needed go ahead and cut those away.

Second you need to gently lift the PCB(circuit board). Be careful not to sever any of the wires from the board.

Third you want to remove the wires from the plastic chasis. You can either leave the metal contacts on or you can de-solder them. I left them on.

This next step will require some experimenting. For my servo, i removed everything in the casing but the motor. This was mostly because the potentiometer was damaged and some of the other stuff was to. It also cuts down on space.

you will need to experiment with the connections.
The red and black wires connect to the battery case and the yellow and blue connect to the servo. Experiment by swapping the yellow and blue connections to the servo until you have it set up so the rf goes down when down is pressed on the controller and it goes down when down is pressed.

Finally the antenae. The stock antennae is flimsy and sucks. I replaced it with some copper wire that i wrapped around itself a couple times to help the board receive the signal.

Check out the rf servo thread for how to install it.
once you have it in just hot glue it into the helmet.

And here is a pic of how it looks in my helmet.

And youre done! Just be careful not to let the resistors (and what not) touch each other, mine stopped working for a while. I figured out that some of them were touching so i bent them away from one another and covered a few with electrical tape. It worked fine again.

Any questions, please ask!

As soon as Secol gets back to me i will post a video clip of it in action.
Hey, thats pretty dang cool. Looks like a good tutorial bud! I'm definately gonna try this! Any type of particular servo I should look for, & can I get em at Radioshack? Also, whats the price tag on thes zip-zaps?Thanx alot for the Tutorial!
Well, I'm not sure what type of servo and i dont think radioshack carries servos(i got mine from a friend for free so i didnt check).
A zipzap costs $20. Although, you can get a cheaper generic model also known as a "clone" on ebay for around $10ish. They should work just as well. Only diffrence will probably be the wire coloring, i have one and 2 wires are red and 2 are black. Basically you just need to look to see which wires connect to the included battery and connect those to your aa/aaa's, and the other wires are attached to the motor compartment which will be connected to the servo.
Ok, so the copper wire you wrapped arounds itself...what exactly does that do? You said it helps get the signal to the chip. What signal is that?
Sorry, i forgot to post a couple of things.

Jango_Fett_Jr - The copper wire is the antenae that picks up the signal from the remote control.

I also forgot to mention that the zipzaps come in only 2 frequencies 27 mhz and 49 mhz. There are many other brands that make mini rc cars that also offer a wider range of frequencies.

Frequency doesnt really matter as long as you arent within about 15 feet or so of another person who has the same frequency. If someone else has the same frequency as you and are within 15 feet of you and they activate their's yours will also be activated. To avoid this, i installed a switch that turns the RF on and off. It also helps save the batteries from being drained.
I was in Kay Bee toys yesterday and they have a line of these cars on sales for $9.99.

Also, how does it know when to stop? I mean what stops it from going past where it should and not spin around?
Well Jedi-Bob, what stops it is the shape of the helmet. In the donpost helmets they can rotate 90 degrees because of how the ear piece is shaped. You have to decide when to stop the rf from moving. When you bring it down it is easy cause you can see it move in front of your eye. When you bring it up, you have to listen to the servo(it's next to your ear so you can hear it) When you don't hear it anymore, that means it is all the way up and you let go of the control.

This is why i consider this "the poor man's RC rangefinder".
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